Hi. My name is Andrew and I’m an appaholic.
But, as many apps as I download onto my iPhone (150 so far), I never thought you could actually fall in love with one.
And I don’t mean that cheap, metaphorical love that people have for their favourite foods like spaghetti or brussel sprouts.
I’m talking about that real love that keeps you up at night, dreaming with your eyes open. The kind that some men have for muscle cars. That women have for manicures (or so it seems).
But now I know it’s true. You can love an app. With all your heart.
I know, because I am in love. With Momento [app store link].
I’ve only known Momento a few days, but already I can’t stop thinking about it.
I love the way it gathers up all the crap I leave laying around on the internet.
It goes out and gets my updates from Facebook. It collects my tweets. It gathers my Flickr pics. And it amasses the tracks I’ve loved on last.fm.
Then it lovingly organizes them into a beautiful package that I can browse through and reflect upon.
But what’s really great is that Momento provides me with the opportunity to add new information to this very public assembly of social media brain farts with private reflections and new thoughts that I choose not to share. I can take new pictures and write new notes that stay just with me.
Yes, it’s a journal app. But the way it draws in all of the dope I dump out online, it manages to add a dimensionality to my personal history that I’ve never imagined before. It’s a fascinating way to compare what I think and what I say; what I share and what I save; my inner self and my outer self.
But it’s not just about what it does. Momento fits into that growing category of iPhone apps that are absolutely gorgeous to behold and use. This is an app of user interface splendour, and its authors have crafted it with meticulous care and attention to detail.
I love the faux-paper feel to the app that makes it so akin to a traditional journal. Check out in this screen shot how something like a piece of scotch tape attaches a flickr photo to a journal page.
The way the authors have designed the app to separate entries with subtle dotted lines and mark them with the icons of the social media sources is perfect. Amassed, as in this screenshot, you can see how by collecting snippets of activity from a variety of social media platform can provide a full picture of my behaviour over a period of time.
I also love how you can insert a photo into a private entry if you don’t want to share it online or publicly. Check out the way the authors have given the picture a retro Polaroid style and taped it to the page.
To enhance the collection of information, you can tag entries with the names of people, locations, or any sort of general word or phrase you like. And you can rate your entries with stars. So later, when you want to read all the entries you wrote about a particular person, or at a certain location, it’s a cinch to browse to that tag.
Of course, you can also search all your posts by keyword.
The only single drawback I can think of with Momento, and it’s minor, is that it’s iPhone-only. There’s an export feature to get your data off the iPhone, and of course iTunes backs up your data, so there’s almost no risk of losing your Momento data. (And you can add a passcode to to the app to protect your private entries from prying eyes.) But I’d like the option to view my previous entries and add new ones on my Mac.
And while I consider the current set of social media compatibility adequate (Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and last.fm), I’m hoping they add more in coming versions. Personally, I’d like to see support for MobileMe, WordPress and OpenFeint. And maybe YouTube; or maybe not. It’d be nice if it also hooked in events from my iPhone calendar for another dimension of my personal history.
But that’s splitting hairs.
Momento is the perfect tool to mitigate the risk of losing your life to social media. It takes that data back, and then lets you enhance it with new, private thoughts and images. Now that I have it on my iPhone, I can’t imagine ever again being without it. It’s the only app I consider absolutely essential on my iPhone and, yes, I love it.
But unlike those other guys and their muscle cars, I don’t even have to shine it up with Turtle Wax. I can naturally see my reflection in Momento.